Happy Thanksgiving

I wrote this for Halloween in 2022 but I just realized it would have made a better Thanksgiving post- so here we go- 

The Wendigo Went To Jamestown

First Published at Enduring Bones

September 13, 2022

Basil H. Johnston, an Ojibwe teacher and scholar from Ontario, gives a description of a wendigo:

Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tightly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash-gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody … Unclean and suffering from suppuration of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption-


It was a macabre archeological discovery. Found in a pit dated from the early 1600’s ( The Starving Time ) mixed with the bones of squirrels and dogs, were the cannibalized remains of a 14 year old girl.

The people who reconstructed her face named her ” Jane “.

Forensic facial reconstruction of the young girl thought to have been cannibalized. It appears she was dead at the time. (Donald E. Hurlbert/Smithsonian)

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid in school studying ” American History ”  we never got to the part of the story  where the  the starving Jamestown colonists disinterred their dead and then butchered them for food.

It sounds like a scene from a horror film.

However, I don’t think that anyone was digging up graves by moonlight with a shovel. From what I understand, it was freezing and snowing so I’m not sure how many people were actually buried underground. Still, the idea that  a few Jamestown Colonialists went into a makeshift morgue in the dead of winter and chose  which bodies would be pulled from their place of rest and taken to a place where I’m guessing that animals were slaughtered and butchered,  is a horror that I can’t quite wrap my mind around.

I mean, I get it, I just can’t see it.

Forensics tell us that before she and her fellow Jamestown Settlers began to starve that Jane was well nourished, he teeth were white and beautiful and her bones would have told you she wasn’t a laborer and that her spine and joints probably showed that she wasn’t doing heavy lifting. She was a child of means. I’ll bet she could read and write too.

It’s what happened to her in death that separated her not only from the class she had been born into, but the way the dead are treated  by tradition.

Jane’s skull had been cracked open, some of the cuts to her jaw were describe as ‘tentative’ but I’m thinking that  someone couldn’t bring themselves to butcher her remains, so they tried to carve her up carefully and then at some point they stopped caring because they simple had to not care in order to do what needed to be done.

There’s something sad about that. Call me sentimental ( or just mental ) but she may have saved some people from starving to death. The way they treated her poor remains doesn’t show much gratitude. They could have given what remained of her a burial. They owed her that.

In my mind’s eye, if the Wendigo touched the colonists, I don’t think it happened when they went into the place where the dead were sleeping. I doubt if it cursed them when they cooked Jane and probably a few other people too.

I think it touched them when they threw Jane’s bones into the garbage pit.

That was evil and that is what the Wendigo really feeds on.

Detail of cut marks found on the girl’s jaw, or lower mandible in a stereo-microscopic photo. Smithsonian Institution / Don Hurlbert

Four butchery marks found on the skull of a 14-year-old girl who died at Jamestown constitute the first evidence for cannibalism during the colonization of the New World.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Smithsonian Institution’s Doug Owsley displays the skull and facial reconstruction of “Jane of Jamestown” at the museum in Washington on Wednesday.Carolyn Kaster/STF


The Veil

Artist Unknown

My black cat doesn’t belong to Halloween.


My Nan whose Ghost I see around the holidays when there are icy roads and

thunderstorms are rolling across the Sound

doesn’t come back because she’s allowed to.


I don’t visit cemeteries because I want to be scared.


Tonight, of all the other nights in the year

is the one night nobody asks us

why we are here.


Carl Kolchak
Photo A.M.Moscoso
RIP you wonderful boy.

I’m Already There

Photo J.M. Moscoso

If I had a enough money  in the world to do anything I wanted to do, if I had a bank account healthy enough to go anywhere in the world ( or off world )-

I wouldn’t pay to go to the moon –

but if I could be convinced if we knew for sure that on the surface of the Moon there is a graveyard.

I would pull out my checkbook, my credit cards if you told me that once upon a time- thousands of years ago, maybe even millions of years ago a ship full of astronauts  went mad because the closer they got to the Moon they changed.

They howled. They ranted and raved. Some of them escaped from the ship without putting on their space suits and when they set foot on the moons dusty, chalky,  airless surface their blood boiled, they died and then they froze.

They  were dead  the  unafflicted  believed. So they buried them with their eyes open.

But of course, we know unless they put a silver bullet into their hearts, the bodies they buried  on the Moon were not dead at all.

You bet I’d go to the Moon for that and I  would take a shovel.

Photo J.M Moscoso